Go Easy On Yourself: Why Self-Care is Important
By Kim Bertonica, RN
Do you treat yourself as well as you do your friends and family?
As it turns out, people who are often the most supportive to others, frequently neglect their own needs or are very critical of themselves.
I sometimes hear from people that they are not happy with their weight loss. While trying to help them reach their weight loss goals I often hear patients say “I don’t have time for me. I’m stressed, overwhelmed, overloaded and there are not enough hours in the day.”
To have long term weight loss success, all the pieces of the puzzle must be in their proper place. But one piece of the puzzle that is often missing is self-care. We all have very busy lives, but finding time for yourself cannot be ignored. Creating more personal time should be at the top of your priority list.
First you must decide that you deserve some time to yourself. If everyone around you is worthy of your time and attention then so are you. To help you get started, put yourself on your calendar and commit to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of personal time every day. Decide how to spend the time you’ve committed to yourself. Instead of resorting to old habits such as overeating to comfort yourself, find new ways to identify your other needs. Journaling is an excellent way to accomplish this goal.
Emotional eating is an ineffective substitute for self-care. Emotional eating may be due to stress, boredom, loneliness or as a reward. Being aware of the reasons behind your emotional eating is important. Journaling may help you identify what triggers your emotional eating. Self-care is an important behavioral change. It’s important to make some time for yourself. But remember, self-care is an ongoing process—not a one-time affair. You must put yourself higher on your list of priorities. Placing yourself at the top of your priority list will help you to be successful in your weight loss goals. Giving yourself a break may be your first step towards better health and happiness.